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InnovationOpenLab

Why hybrid working will help startups to grow faster

The best employees look for the best work/life balance they can get, and conventional companies aren't always able to satisfy their needs

Opinions

We still don't know if, and how much, the Great Resignation is a stable trend. For sure, pandemic lockdowns proved that it's possible to work remotely with no loss in productivity and gaining, instead, a much better work/life balance. It did not happen to everyone and everywhere, of course, but 2020 and 2021 showed us that yes, we can have a different (and better) way of working and our employers do not have to lose money for that.

The Great Resignation, analysts say, comes from that revelation: if we can work better, why don't we? Quitting your job is not easy and there's a chance (a 25% chance, it seems) that you'll have second thoughts, later. But if your role is one of those the job market likes, leaving your cubicle and looking for an employer who gives you the choice to work where it's best for you, makes sense

This is the hybrid work dilemma of our times: many companies now want their employees back in their offices, but most of those employees simply do not want to come back. And can quit their job, if they don't get the flexibility they want or need.

But the Great Resignation is a problem usually associated with big enterprises, it has nothing to do with startups. Right? Yes and no, say job market observers. As small(er) companies, tech startups aren't experiencing significant resignation rates, but they can gain a lot from big companies' pains.

Today, tech startups are often "remote companies" by choice. They don't invest in big (or any) offices, can attract talents from everywhere, use modern communication and collaboration platforms to keep employees always in touch but at the same time free. Most of all, startups have no problems in optimizing employees' wellbeing letting them organize work around living and not the opposite.

Yes, startups behave this way because they can't afford to do otherwise. But now, it's a plus.

In the global competition for top talents, a well developed startup can offer the flexibility they want and the opportunity to make their work really matter, to build something new. It's not always enough to be more convincing than a conventional tech company, but market dynamics are changing and small can be, if not beautiful, at least more attractive than a few years ago.

And for those who think that office culture is sorely needed... Well, not that much. Researches say that employees thrive when given radical flexibility and that in-person offices don't necessarily foster communication. Often, they actually do the opposite. And let's be honest: the "watercooler dynamics" so missed by traditional in-person companies are, most of the times, overrated.

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Francesco Pignatelli

Francesco Pignatelli began his love story with computers and technology at the age of 14, with his ZX81. This led to a career in software development and then in IT and tech journalism. He has spent more than 25 years covering a wide range of IT and tech topics - telecommunications, cyber security, software development, enterprise software, knowledge management - for many of the most important Italian business tech magazines. He is always looking for new digital stuff and still writes unreliable software.

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